Your Loved Ones Died in the Sinking but You Survived


Status
Not open for further replies.

Ben Lemmon

Member
Feb 6, 2008
525
4
123
I have been pondering this for a while now, and I wanted to see what the general consensus on the matter is. What if loved ones died on the Titanic but you survived? I know that if I had my own family and the rest died in the sinking, I would have been keen to jump back in the water with them. However, my own secular beliefs would prohibit me from doing so. I wonder, would I be able to go on at all? Would you?

I have also been dithering about another subject. Say you are an immigrant and you survived, and so did a few other members of your family. Would you sail back to the homeland and bury your deceased there, or would you stay in America, bury them there, and then try to start a new life? I anxiously await any replies.
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

Your Loved Ones Died in the Sinking, but You Survived?
I think this has been covered before. But I'm not a mod so...

I'd sue for starters. Frivolous things and for heartache. Depression! It would depend on who died. If it was my kid I'd blow my brains out after I started the legal process of suing. Make sure my next of kin got something and that White Star paid through the nose for ruining my life.

If it was another relative like my folks or sibling it would depend on what the family as a whole would want.​
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

Say you are an immigrant and you survived, and so did a few other members of your family. Would you sail back to the homeland and bury your deceased there, or would you stay in America, bury them there, and then try to start a new life? I anxiously await any replies.

For Starters I could see myself visiting relatives in Sweden or Great Britain but all my family was over here in 1912. The whole family came over in the 18th and 19th centuries. I couldn't see myself as an immigrant. Not the type as for the body shoot by the time they have it identified it would probably already be buried.​
 

Aly Jones

Member
Nov 22, 2008
1,174
70
183
Australia
Good question hard but a good one!

If i did lose every single family member,i would perrferr to stay alive,only cause my family members would want me to have my life and not perish,plus someone has to keep the family legasey going.

I would not stay in America,i would travel back to England were my family ogrinial came from.
 
Jun 11, 2000
2,524
25
313
I'm not sure I quite understand this.

Ben: Why on earth would you jump into the freezing water to be with dead relatives, whether you were secular or not? And how would you know they were dead in the first place? And if you are secular, why would you think the dead have any notion of where they were buried anyway? Personally, if I thought all my relatives were dead, then I'd figure that if they could know I was still alive, they'd want me to stay alive, and do the best I could with my life - no matter where.

And as for suing. I think it's a very double-edged weapon. You can't put a price on the loss of a dearly-loved person. You can only put a price on your own future, which I think, probably makes you feel a bit seedy later on. It's not that I think compensation is wrong, it's just that I think it may cause more problems than it solves in some cases. It's probably OK enough where human irresponsibility can be proven, but it must be troubling where it really all seems an accident (Act of God, as it used to be called). And you can't judge previous 'accidents' by present-day standards.

It's a bit snowy here in the UK today, and Mike has been sent home from work. Not because the work is impossible to do, but because his company doesn't want anyone walking from the car park to the building - despite the fact that it's been gritted - in case anyone falls and can subsequently claim. This way madness lies.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
A few inches of snow in London yesterday - excuse enough for the entire bus network to stop running. A century on from 1912, and our transportation systems still can't cope with unexpected ice!

Ben, any recovered bodies were taken to Halifax and almost all were buried there, at no expense to surviving relatives. The transportation of bodies as freight to any other destination was costly and not an option considered by the typical immigrant family, but was a possibility for those with money to spare - like your fictional 2nd Class family perhaps.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
35
398
Ben: You have to define your question a bit more clearly. Do you mean, what would I , specifically, do in this case, or do you actually want a broader, more general answer regarding what survivors in that situation might have done and actually did?

I think, to gain insight on this question, what you must first do is read the bios, here on ET, of the members of families that only partially survived. There were, of course, a broad span of reactions, ranging from widowed Eloise Smith picking up her new husband on the train ride home from NYC to Mrs. Asplund who,suffice to say, didnt.

Regarding suicide of parents who lost children. There was at least one, linked to the Lusitania, in which a mother who lost a child swallowed a fatal dose of arsenic, but in that case there were OTHER disastrous factors afoot. In most cases, weve found, life eventually returned to something approaching normal for these parents, but there was always a great sadness, and reluctance to discuss the disaster, among them. Same with children who lost parents. Take, for instance, 8 year old Arthur Scott, whose mother placed him in a successfully lowered lifeboat, only to be ejected from another (overturned) boat and killed herself. Arthur so successfully hid this part of his life that his own children did not know he was a survivor until well into their own adult lives, at which point they found out by accident. I suspect that with Titanic survivors, there was much the same reaction.

About suing. The Frivolous Lawsuit, much like The Welfare Mother Buying Vodka With Foodstamps,is one of those creatures we read a lot about but seldom meet. Quite often, what seems frivolouson the surface is not frivolous at all;it all depends upon whose spin reaches the media first. Take the famous, butt of standup comedian jokes, Hot Coffee Lawsuit. "Yo! No Brainer! Coffee. HOT! ha ha ha." Everyone laughs. Stupid lawsuit. Well,not quite. In that case, a grandmother was being handed a tray of take out food, and a coffee overturned into the crotch of her sweatsuit, giving her second degree scald burns on her genitals. She wanted her medical expenses paid by the restaurant (it was either $10,000 or $20,000) but the corporation stonewalled. On discovery, her lawyers learned that there were a dismaying number of similar incidents involving this particular corporation and its coffee. Which was intentionally kept at scalding temperatures because it retains its taste longer at higher heat. Unlike Burger King, which kept its hot coffee hot, but not dangerously so, which reduced its shelf life and its profit margin, but did not make it dangerous if it spilled on your genitals. So, the lawsuit was a lot deeper than "Hey, idiot, coffee is hot ha ha ha."

Most of these lawsuits could be avoided if companies behaved responsibly to begin with, and acted intelligently after accidents happen. That fast food chain chose to stonewall on a relatively miniscule medical bill and got their asses handed to them in court when good lawyers discovered that this accident was NOT The Millionth Chance coming into play. At my current job, our insurance company has trained us,from experience, on how to deal with customer accidents. Which is to voice immediate concern, summon a doctor, and repeatedly tell them, "Dont worry, we will take care of this." Because, as the insurance companies know, most of the lawsuits stem from the sort of mindset that fostered the hot coffee debacle and that, in the long run, it is cheaper to pay the medical bills than it is to go to court.

The lawsuit is a good thing, in that it is one of the few weapons the man on the streetHAS. People who howl for Tort Reform seem woefully unaware of what life was like before The Frivolous Lawsuit Era. The most recent MASSIVE example of which is the airplane cargo door fiasco of 1968-1974. You recall;a certain breed of Jumbo jet was designed with cabin floors that were inadequately vented. Which meant that if the plane depressurized suddenly there was not enough means to equalize pressure between the passenger cabin and the outside air, and chances were fair that the cabin floor would collapse and sever that planes controls. This was known as early as 1968.

The planes were designed with cargo doors that opened outward. Most plane doors open inward and become self-sealing as the plane pressurizes. The door had a latch built into it which, on occasion, could LOOK as if it was engaged while, in fact, it wasnt.

The predictable happened on a US/Canada domestic flight. A door that appeared locked, but wasnt, blew out in flight. The cabin floor partially collapsed, severing most of the controls. But, miraculously, the pilots managed to effect a safe landing.

What followed was the notorious "Gentlemens Agreement" in which governmental intervention was avoided on a handshake deal that stated the costly problem would be rectified as soon as practical.

The predictable thing happened. When, 18 months later, in 1974, an improperly latched cargo door blew out, this time when the cabin floor collapsed ALL controls were severed and 346-356 people where killed.

The ensuing lawsuit was a watershed, of sorts. Lawyers for the company that manufactured the jet, bleated as is their wont about "the indignity of putting a dollar sum on human life" "It wont make the families of those lost feel any better" "It weakens the effectiveness of the court system" etc. BUT, big money settlements WERE paid out, ushering in a new mindset on both the public and corporate fronts

Thru my writings, I have met MANY families who have sued in these cases. They do not feel grubby afterwards~ they feel vindicated. Because they have struck those who have killed or maimed their relatives in the one place it is POSSIBLE to strike them.

BTW- if you lose a relative in a plane crash, eject- violently if necessary- the grief councelors provided by the airline. They are taking notes on everything you say, and it WILL be used against you in court. Ask the families of Pan Am Lockerbie or EAL 401. Particularly galling was the case of the male flight attendants killed in the 1980s Northwest/Detroit crash, in which it was argued in court that, since they were gay, chances were good that they would have died young of AIDS anyway and that their parents could not have reasonably expected long-tem support from them.

Yes. Really.

The image of victim families as grasping people, blinded by dollar signs, is one carefully fostered and maintained by those whose negligence killed or maimed their kin. In 99% of the cases, it simply isnt true.
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

Most of these lawsuits could be avoided if companies behaved responsibly to begin with, and acted intelligently after accidents happen.

That's my take on the matter!

quote:

I have met MANY families who have sued in these cases. They do not feel grubby afterwards~ they feel vindicated.
That's how I would feel vindicated! Unless I lost my child then I wouldn't care. I'd be dead or in the funny farm. But where ever I was I'd hope White Star was paying through the nose for their incompetence.​
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Feb 6, 2008
525
4
123
Monica,
I was presuming myself to be on board the Carpathia at that time. That pivotal moment, when I learned that members of my family had died (and I was the only one) I wouldn't know what to think. I was saying if I didn't have the beliefs I do, I would feel a bit inclined to jump in the water myself. It would just depend on how I saw the situation. I would likely never do it, though, despite my secular beliefs. Sorry for the misinformation.

Jim,
I would like to know what YOU would do, not what they might have done back then. I just want to see how different people reacted in similar situations. It would be interesting to see how they would be handled. Also, I read your "hot coffee" case and I never knew how much actually happened. Like most people, I heard the slapstick, comedic version of the story, not the actual facts. Thanks for sharing the actual set of events.

Bob,
Thank you for your advice. It was informative, as usual, and was one thing I was wondering. I'm not quite to the end, yet, but I do want to have it planned. It's no surprise that someone dies in a story about the Titanic, so I am not afraid to withhold such information.

I would have to say that if I lost a cousin, even, that would be really hard for me. My family is very close-knit, and if I lost a cousin in such a situation, I would be (as George puts it) "in the funny farm." Especially if I suffered "survivor's guilt".
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
We all suffer 'survivor's guilt' when we lose someone close, Ben. No matter whether that person dies in a shipwreck in the prime of life or at home in bed at the end of a long and productive life. It's illogical, but a standard reaction. Every time. And the great majority of us, though we might feel that we could never cope with life after the loss of someone very close indeed, find that we can. Things never 'return to normal', but eventually we adapt to and accept a different normality. Not everybody can achieve this, of course, but most of us can and do. No matter how much we grieve, the instinct for personal survival is generally too strong to allow for other options.
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

No matter how much we grieve, the instinct for personal survival is generally too strong to allow for other options.
Well speaking for myself I could except or learn to live my child dying from an illness because that was god's will and falls into my religious beliefs. I would still have guilt about it.

But If I lost my child due to someone else's incompetence I could see myself suing the company at fault quite easily. Not to have the money but to make them suffer for what happened because of their negligence.

Once I had started legal proceedings and made my will I would probably get some liquor and a gun and take myself to the nearest river probably the Hudson and wait till dark while sneaking sips of liquor. Not enough to get me drunk or tipsy but enough to steady my nerve. Once the sun had gone down and it had quieted down I'd get in the river to where the water was up to my shoulders and put the gun up to my head and pull the trigger and hope the current catches my body so it could take me out to sea.

Of course knowing my luck which would probably being no better in 1912 then it is now, I'd end up screwing it up and end up in the Loony Bin as a failed suicide which would jeopardize my lawsuit unless I had a real good lawyer. Probably end up getting Ice Baths and electroshock therapy. Fun all around!​
 
I can't honestly say what I would do in that situation. That is, losing all of my family, and being the only survivor. I would like to think that I would do my best to carry on. Being a woman, I couldn't carry on the family name, but I would do my best to live my life to the fullest. Barring depression and whatever else may come along with surviving such an ordeal.
As far as a lawsuit goes, I don't really see a point. When my 3 year old cousin was backed over and killed in my grandmothers driveway, that hit me pretty hard. I was 9 years old and staying at a friends house. I couldn't bring myself to stay at a friends house for years after that. When I finally could, I would have to call my mother to be sure that everything and everyone was okay.
My aunt (his mother), has suffered through bouts of depression and was diagnosed with seasonal effective bipolar disorder. And the lawsuit in which she sued my grandparents for owning the property, and my uncle who was driving the vehicle, didn't seem to help her at all. So, honestly I don't know what I would do, but I would hope for the best. I highly doubt that I would sue.

Thanks for listening.
Kendra
 
J

Jeff Brebner

Guest
As Daddy to an unbelieveably delightful 5 year old daughter, I'm not sure I'd be able to draw my next breath if I lost her. If I knew both my wife and daughter were gone I can't imagine having the will to survive myself. But obviously people do. And if I thought someone's negligence had caused it...
 

Aly Jones

Member
Nov 22, 2008
1,174
70
183
Australia
Hi Kendra

>> Being a woman, I couldn't carry on the family name <<

That's true.But i have heard that a women can carry her name on,that's if you got some spare dosh in you're pocket!
 
Alyson,
Dosh?? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the word. I'm sure it means money, or something to that effect. LOL I am truly trying not to be an idiot. Well.

Thanks
Kendra
happy.gif
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
Hey Jeff,

quote:

If I knew both my wife and daughter were gone I can't imagine having the will to survive myself. But obviously people do. And if I thought someone's negligence had caused it...
That's what I was thinking when I answered Ben's question. Then my vivid imagination took over.

Hello Kendra,
Sorry about your cousin. But maybe it's the way I'm put together but I would sue anyways even if it didn't make me happy. Frankly I wouldn't expect it to but at least White Star would pay and suffer for their negligence.​
 
J

Jeff Brebner

Guest
Seems like in most Shipwreck books I've read, survivors have tried to sue to little or no avail. And even if it worked, are your loved ones back?
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Feb 6, 2008
525
4
123
quote:

But maybe it's the way I'm put together but I would sue anyways even if it didn't make me happy.
What's the point, then? If it didn't make me feel happier, I wouldn't do it. Money cannot bring back a loved one (at least not yet), and what is the point of making another suffer as you did? Granted they wouldn't be losing something as precious as a family member's life, but making them pay financially is not the answer. Revenge is never the answer. While it would be tough to go on, I think the best thing would have been to forgive and forget. You would have received money from the multiple Titanic Relief funds anyway. I agree, though, that my initial reaction would be one of intense hatred toward those who caused my child's or wife's death. I would probably feel more angry than I had ever felt before. However, it is at that time that I would forgive them. They did not intentionally hurt your family. Suing them would probably not fill that void left by your loved one. It is one of the banes of modern day society if you ask me, and one that is often overused.​
 

Aly Jones

Member
Nov 22, 2008
1,174
70
183
Australia
<<Dosh?? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the word. I'm sure it means money, or something to that effect. LOL I am truly trying not to be an idiot. Well. <<

Hey there.My parents use this word *dosh* = Money.
That's were i got it from.
You must be a young person cause it's an older person saying/word.lol

I stated this in my first post,that i would live on in this situation.
happy.gif
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

Seems like in most Shipwreck books I've read, survivors have tried to sue to little or no avail. And even if it worked, are your loved ones back?
Lemme answer that question along with Ben's.

quote:

What's the point, then? If it didn't make me feel happier, I wouldn't do it. Money cannot bring back a loved one (at least not yet), and what is the point of making another suffer as you did?
Gonna answer both of your gentlemen's questions. Simply to make White Star pay for their negligence. They were negligent causing the ship to strike a berg and in evacuating the ship causing my child to to die in the North Atlantic and causing me to be exposed for numerous hours to the frigid cold in crowded half swamped lifeboat that I had to swim to. I would still injuries that I will carry with me for the rest of my life along with mental anguish. D---ed right their gonna pay!

So if I was a Titanic survivor and I lost my child because of their negligence I would want them to pay for it. Maybe next time the shipping company won't be so negligent and end up causing people their lives is what would be my take on it. But to each their own.​
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads